The Christmas Day Truce

On December 24, 2015, in Christmas, Courage, Heroes, History, Peace, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

No one knows exactly where it started or how it started, but for one bitterly cold day peace settled over the killing fields of World War I. Christmas Eve 1914 was, according to one British soldier, “a beautiful moonlit night.” Frost covered the ground, turning the black mud white. Sometime during the evening, somewhere along […]

In Gardens of Stone

On May 25, 2015, in America, Courage, Death, Freedom, Heroes, History, Liberty, Memorial Day, Patriotism, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

In gardens of stone, lay soldiers who stood alone on frozen hills, beside vallied rills. In gardens of stone, a trumpet blown over markers of the brave, who rest within the grave. In gardens of stone, our flag is flown in vigil of red, white, and blue, for those who loved their country true. In […]

The Soldier on Crutches

On November 11, 2014, in America, Courage, Freedom, Heroes, Liberty, Patriotism, Soldiers, Veterans, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of eleventh month in 1918, “the war to end all wars,” as it was touted, ended. The Great War—World War I—was the first modern war and ushered in a century of warfare that left in its wake unimaginable death, destruction, and disabilities. World War I itself took […]

“Unbroken”: Unspeakable Suffering, Unrelenting Savagery

On September 18, 2014, in America, Books, Courage, Faith, Forgiveness, Freedom, Heroes, History, Soldiers, Suffering, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Laura Hillenbrand has only written two books but she ranks as one of America’s most gifted narrative historians. Along with David McCullough and Nathaniel Philbrick, Hillenbrand’s histories are novel-like. But her histories aren’t make believe. Like McCullough and Philbrick, Hillenbrand’s storytelling talent is backed by meticulous historical research and rigor. In her first book, Seabiscuit: […]

The Honor Roll

On May 26, 2014, in America, Freedom, Heroes, Memorial Day, Patriotism, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

The boys upon the honor roll, God bless them all I pray! God watch them when they sleep at night, and guard them through the day. We’ve stamped their names upon our walls, the list in glory grows, Our brave boys and our splendid boys who stand to meet our foes. Oh, here are sons […]

A Veterans Day Prayer

On November 11, 2013, in America, Freedom, Heroes, Liberty, Patriotism, Soldiers, Veterans, by Derrick G. Jeter

For those who wore the uniform of our nation, and wear it still; for those who stood on lonely battlements, and stand it still; for those who braved the wrath of our enemies, and brave it still; for those who fought for freedom, and fight for it still; for those who sacrificed for their country, […]

Gettysburg, the Union, and the Fourth of July

On July 4, 2013, in Abraham Lincoln, America, Civil War, Courage, Freedom, Heroes, History, July 4, Liberty, Patriotism, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Robert E. Lee and his army were soaked through when they marched south on the morning of July 4, 1863. The blood and sweat poured out over the past three days had been for naught. And the gloom of the Army of Northern Virginia matched the gloom of the weather. Lee had marched his more […]

“The Last Stand”: A Book Review

On July 2, 2013, in America, Books, Heroes, History, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Nathaniel Philbrick is the next David McCullough—the master of narrative history. In the best tradition of careful historians, both men are, at heart, storytellers. And the stories closest to their hearts are the stories of America. With his Mayflower, Sea of Glory, and Why Read Moby Dick, Philbrick was carving out for himself a niche […]

When I See a Flag-Draped Box of Wood

On May 27, 2013, in America, Freedom, Heroes, Liberty, Marine Corps, Memorial Day, Patriotism, Soldiers, Veterans, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

When I see a flag-draped box of wood I remember all the brave ones who stood guarding a lonely sentry post, guarding what we love the most. That’s what I remember when I see a flag-draped box of wood.   When I see a flag folded in three I remember, Americans died for me. Some […]

God Bless Your Soul Sister, I will be Stiff All Over: A Civil War Letter

On May 27, 2013, in America, Civil War, Death, Freedom, Heroes, History, Liberty, Memorial Day, Patriotism, Soldiers, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

The Civil War consumed some 600,000 lives. Most of these died, not due to direct wounds suffered in battle but due to infections contracted in filthy hospitals and from camp diseases—typhoid fever, dysentery, and smallpox just to name a few. Hundreds of thousands more came home shattered limbs and shattered spirits. On the home front, […]